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Sentinel Grove Cottage | Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales: Tales of Hysterical Snails

“I loved the recent informative Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales snail article and had to share our family’s hysterical and historical snail stories as a ‘gift’ to your readers for a good laugh,” wrote Brenda in Kentucky. “At one time my father was a command sergeant major for the US Army, stationed in Germany. Our family moved to be with him. He was a great man who did a lot for his family, friends and his community BUT he was a CSM and a man everyone knew not to play with.

“When I was six years old, I looked over our fence and saw so many intriguing snails: big giants, tiny ones and intermediates. The gastropods had different colored shells , and I found a few of them in our garden. I loved feeling them as they slowly slid down my hand. One day I found a small opening in the fence and crawled through. across and filled a large box with 26 precious pet snails.

“My parents were unaware of my newly acquired pets.

“To take good care of my babies, I put them in the bathtub, with hand-picked flowers and grass. I closed the shower curtain so no one would find them. I had thought the little guys couldn’t climb in and out on the smooth sided bathtub.

“My father came home from work and went to the bathroom. What he encountered were snails on the mirror, walls and all over the bathroom. Apparently the bathtub was not a match but a challenge for the slimy captives on their escape mission.

“My parents weren’t amused, and neither were they when they heard the snails were coming from the graveyard on the other side of our fence. The good news is that after the “incident”, my parents bought me a dog.

“Dad retired from his military career, after three combat tours, and we returned to the United States. He never lost the position of a soldier in charge and a man who inspired great respect .

“In our new home we had a huge slug problem on our back patio. There were BIG and FAT slugs, some were up to four to six inches long.

“Dad went to use the bathroom at the back of the house. We heard him scream in terror.

“My friends and family all ran to save my father. What disaster had brought this man to the brink so suddenly? Luckily, we found my dad still standing, pointing to the switch on the wall where a large slug was calmly perched. Upon reaching the switch, he had made contact with the slimy visitor and the rest is history.

“It was funny, but what really cracked me up was how everyone was trying to save dad’s pride. They kept a straight face. All the while, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t stand up anymore. I was lying on the floor and I choked, ‘Daddy! You screamed like a creepy little kid!’

“He glared at me, but I had no way to stop laughing. For years at holiday gatherings, the memory of that bonding event still made us laugh – even Dad.

“Today, I have a mountain chalet. During peaceful hikes in the forest, I discover delicate empty snail shells, four of them on the shelf in my living room reminding me of love and family.

TIPS

When I asked Heather, a Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales reader residing in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, if she had a snail photo for this article, she replied, “I can’t say that I got a weirder request, so that makes you the winner!” She might think I’m crazy for asking, but what a good person to go looking for readers! Before she discovers a slug or a snail forester, my grandson found one in our garden.

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